A Mile Of River

A Mile Of River

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Ekaterinburg The Last Days of the Romanovs

Ekaterinburg The Last Days of the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport.

I read Elaine's review about this book on Random Jottings and immediately added the book to my list to read. Having recently read Magnificent Obssesion by this author I was drawn in.

Helen Rappaport's written account of the the Last days of the Tsar and Tsaritsa of Russia and their children is very well researched.

The family are taken from their palatial home and held captive at Ipatiev House in 1918 this would be the last residence the royal family would live in before their tragic deaths.

Alexei the heir to the throne inherited Hemophilia from his mother Alexandra, a condition that could be traced back to her paternal Grandmother Queen Victoria. Alexei's parents were very protective of him trying to avoid any accidents and injuries. He was the youngest of five chidren having four older sisters Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastacia. The two elder sisters, Olga and Tatiana nursed wounded soldiers in a military hospital until the family were arrested.

The actual murders of the family were very graphic and shocking. The   families bodies were later moved and hidden in a dense place in the forest called The Four Brothers.

 Reading this book I wanted to learn more about Rasputin who was said to have healing powers and of whom Alexandra had faith. I also have 'Beautiful For Ever Madame Rachel of Bond Street Cosmetican, Con Artist and Blackmailer' on my list to read.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Arsenic Labyrinth

The Arsenic Labyrinth by Martin Edwards.

This is the third book in the Lake District Series. It has been 10 years since Emma Beswick disappeared. Hannah Scarlett and her cold case team reopen the investigation. The book also features Daniel Kind the Oxford Historian who has moved from the city life to live in the Lake District and Miranda, Daniel's girl friend who becomes increasingly unhappy in the Lake District and hankers after city life once more.

The arsenic labyrinth in Coniston is a place where arsenic a byproduct of copper mining was once proccessed deep underground.A great place for the murder victims to have been buried for a long time.

Themes are the rise and fall of family fortunes, murder, greed, dishonesty and gambling adiction to name a few.

There are a whole load of twist and turns to keep the reader on edge. Lots of amazing characterisation. The reader learns of the mystery of the connections with the Clough and Inchmore families. There are quite a few more complicated relationships within the story which all add to the suspense and uncertainty. I never guessed who did it until the very end.

Great to meet up again with some of the characters from the previous books. This is excellent British crime fiction at its best, skillfully written by Martin Edwards.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Chevalier

The Chevalier by Cynthia Harrod Eagles is the seventh book in the Morland Dynasty.

Continuing my reading of this marvellous series and I am enjoying them so much. I read one then take a short break but I am always happy to return.

 Annunciata Morland once again continues to be the Central character but in this book I found her to be a much likable character than previously. India Neville is the new mistress of Morland Place and she is one nasty piece of work.

Annunciatia has followed King James 11 into exile and has left her Grandson Matt in charge. What follows is his destructive marriage to India. Themes in the book are love, passion, tragedy, death and defeat.

The later half of the book tells of James 111 The Chevalier's return to claim the Stuart throne. Loyalty to the King is shown to be of chief importance.

Historical fiction at its very best.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Birth of Venus

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.

The setting for the novel is 15th century Florence. The books protagonist  Alessandra is the main focus of the story and is a very engaging character. Alessandra has a great love for drawing and painting and is very talented. Alessandra's father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the walls of the chapel in the family's Florentine palazzo. Alessandra becomes besotted with the painters artistic abilities.

Alessandra then undergoes an arranged marriage to Savanarola who is an older man.Savanarola and Alessandra's brother Thomaso share a secret and Alessandra has no knowledge of this until after her wedding. Her true real love is the painter and as the story progress's she realises her concern for the painter has turned to love. Alessandra's green snake tattoo is also another one of the mysteries in the novel and the ending brings a solution to this.

Great characterisation in the novel. I also read Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant last year and loved it.